Wanda Wade gave us the inside scoop on Inside Sales at APP, where she’s been excelling for a year and a half. Before that, Wanda spent over ten years working for the State of Texas Attorney General’s office. This mother of four (her youngest is about to graduate high school and head off to college) is recently remarried, and has me-time on the menu, and new hobbies on the table—including a collaborative hands-on redecoration of her home with new husband, Mark. (Note to Mark—when your wife has a history of working with attorneys, bring your A-game when you argue against a bedroom chandelier.)
QUESTION 1: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a shy kid. Very quiet. (I’m not that now!) Growing up, once I got to high school, I was in a group called Future Business Leaders of America. As an extension of that, I had the opportunity to visit the courthouse and learn about the law firsthand. Growing up, I thought that’s what I wanted to do, but that changed over time. I think it fits in with what I do now—sales requires you to be assertive, especially working with a lot of guys who can be pretty … boisterous! You have to be able to make your voice heard and state your opinions.
QUESTION 2: What’s something not a lot of people at work know about you?
In my spare time, I’ve always been a writer. When I worked for the state, I started a blog with a coworker, and from there, I started my own blog in 2013. Not a lot of people know that I’m a blogger and a writer.
QUESTION 3: If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it—without quitting your job?
The first thing I’d do is take care of my mom. If I had all the money in the world, I’d really like to take care of my mom so she can just enjoy life, and have it be as stress-free as possible.
QUESTION 4: Has APP helped you achieve personal goals?
What I like about working at this company on a personal level and in sales particularly, you have to be creative with juggling your customers and their needs—creative with how you approach them. I think it’s increased my creativity a little bit more, and that affects my outside life—my writing and decoration projects in particular. With my youngest about to leave the nest, I’m engaged in a full-scale redecoration of our home, but I’ve had to learn a bit of collaboration where that’s concerned. Mark, my new husband, wasn’t sold on the idea of a chandelier in our bedroom. We had to compromise and get creative there, and ended up with what my son calls a “fandolier”—a combination fan and chandelier!
QUESTION 5: Pick one APP value: Embrace the Bear. Be Badass Bubbly. Ignite Imagination.
It’s got to be Embrace the Bear. I haven’t worked in sales before, so this is a totally different animal for me. Different situations come up in sales that I’m not familiar with, so I really have to embrace that and educate myself, get involved in that side of it. One of the goals I had for myself going into my second year here was just to find out as much as I can around product knowledge. Not just our products, but other products the customers are using, the terminology, all of that. I’ve had to embrace that, because that’s the only way I could get over my hesitancies and deliver.
QUESTION 6: What’s an aspect of APP’s values and behaviors you’ve taken to heart in your personal life?
If you’re a parent, you know that there are a lot of situations that come up with your children. And knowing that my youngest is going through a lot of new situations right now, moving into adulthood—I’m learning to embrace the changes and get to know him on this new level.
QUESTION 7: What does APP’s purpose “Liberating what can be” mean to you?
When I think about liberating what can be, I think about freedom, and that’s what I like about working here. You have the freedom to express yourself, you have the freedom to approach things the way you want to. There’s a process in place that we all follow, but within that process, there’s room to tailor it to your goals and personality and needs. I like that I’m able to do those things. I feel like what I do here makes a difference, and I have the freedom and flexibility to add my own input into it. That really makes you feel included and valued—more invested in the company.
QUESTION 8: How do you make more possible?
In my role, I work a lot with the outside sales teams; they spend the bulk of their time outside of the office. I’m here to assist them in what they need and I always make sure to make myself available. Keeping calendars, staying on top of appointments, knowing exactly how to assist them as they interact with clients—knowing exactly what they need and how I can help them with a particular customer and being available, present, and aware is my goal.
QUESTION 9: What do you take the most pride in?
I like being able to tell the customer what’s going to happen, and that’s what happens. I like setting expectations and delivering on them. The idea of giving the customer your word and them being able to take you at it is the most important thing to me. I got that from my dad—that was big with him. If you tell someone you’ll do something, you deliver.
QUESTION 10: Do you have a nickname at work?
Oh, I do! “Mom!” hahah! Also our project manager has combined my name with my manager, Jocelyn’s—when he sends an email to both of us, he addresses it to Wandalyn. Like a celebrity couple, ha!
Thank you, Wanda, for all you do—and for being a valued part of the APP team!